History

Past Chiefs

Garland Griffin – 1959-1976

John Risk – 1977

Tom Applegate – 1978

Alan Wedding – 1979-1981

John Risk – 1982

Harry Alonzo – 1983

Alan Wedding – 1984

John Risk – 1985

Joe Jubert Jr. – 1986-1987

Keith Gaskill – 1988

Alan Wedding – 1989

Keith Bryant – 1992-1993

Ray Holmes – 1994-1996

Tom Heaney – 1997-1999

Jim Parker – 2000-2001

Pat Piccoli – 2002-2005

Joe Jubert Jr. – 2006

Mike Risk – 2007-2008

Brian Corvinus – 2009-2011

Will Jubert – 2012-2014

Ray Holmes – 2015-2017

 

Past Presidents

Ed Tolbert – 1970-1971

Tom Smith – 1972-1977

Joe Jubert Sr. – 1978-1979

Bill Sprague – 1980

Pat Piccoli – 1981-1982

Alan Wedding – 1983

Joe Jubert Sr. – 1984-1985

Charlie Sorenson – 1986-1987

Dan DeCross Sr. – 1988

Joe Jubert Sr. – 1989

Kevin McCormack – 1990

Don Wedding – 1991-1992

Keith Gaskill – 1993

Garland Griffin – 1994

Steve Holmes – 1995-1997

Bert Plante – 1998

Rich Heaney – 1999-2000

Bert Plante – 2001-2002

Keith Gaskill – 2003

John Risk – 2004-2007

Joe Jubert Jr. – 2008

Keith Gaskill – 2009

Kevin McCormack – 2010-2011

Dan DeCross Sr. – 2012-2014

Steve Holmes – 2015

Rich Vaughn – 2016-2017

 

Firefighter of the Year

2002 – Dan DeCross Sr.

2004 – Will Jubert

2005 – John Risk & Charlie Sorenson

2006 – William Roberts

2007 – Dan DeCross Sr.

2008 – William Roberts

2009 – Adam McCormack

2010 – Ed Elefante & Eugene Enfield

2011 – William Roberts

2012 – Joseph J. Jubert

2013 – William Roberts

2014 – Glenn-Michael Lees

2015 – Chris Applegate

2016 – William Reed

 

President’s Award

2013 – Daniel Garrity

2014 – Eugene Enfield

2015 – John Risk

2016 – Brian Corvinus

 

In Memory Of Those Who Served

Sammy Lee

Walt Rice

Steve Matalaga

Christopher Hasselhahn

Joseph Kosciko

Ron Diehm Sr.

Ed Hoffman

Tom Smith

Arnie Repettie

Rich “Sparky” Bland

Frank Meehan

Ed Tolbert

Andrew Booker

Garland Griffin

Bobby “Bo” Brinson

Artie Burke Sr.

Mike Davenport

Alan Wedding

William Gallegan

Larry Kinslow

Thomas Heaney

Frank Dugacs

James Shewmake

Alfonso “Fonso” Stewart

Thomas Applegate

Alan Strunck

Robert Helmstetter

Charles Pritchard

Joe “JJ” Jubert Sr.

Brandon Holt

Arthur Fletcher

William “Clarkie” Clark

Edward Cirz

 

Company History

On March 30, 1959 members of the Manitou Park Planning Board formed on paper, The Manitou Park Fire and Rescue Squad. Plans were made for a firehouse on 3rd Avenue and 4th Street in Manitou Park and in 1960 with an all black membership of 32, a house to house fund drive was started to purchase block to lay the foundation. Johnson Lumber Co. donated roofing material and helped install the trusses, members of the fire company built the roof. Finally after contributions from the citizens of Manitou Park and the Johnson Lumber Co. and after endless hours of labor performed by the members, the firehouse was completed. In 1960 the fire company purchased their first fire truck; a used pumper that was formally owned by the Breton Woods Vol. Fire Company. Chief Garland Griffin purchased the second piece of apparatus; a 1939 Dodge 250 G.P.M. pumper. Fire equipment to outfit the members and their two fire trucks was donated from fire companies throughout Ocean County. In 1961 the members attended their first firefighter training at Silverton Firehouse in Dover Township. The Fire Company received its first new piece of apparatus in 1962, a G.M.C. T.A.S.C. 500 G.P.M. pumper, once again equipment was donated to outfit the pumper. At first, certain fire companies in the area and township officials did not want to recognize the fire company and gradually, black volunteers became frustrated and began to quit. With only seven firefighters remaining in 1967, township officials suggested Chief Griffin disband the fire company and the township would use the firehouse to store road department equipment. Instead of giving in to the township, Chief Griffin went out to recruit new members anywhere they could be found, both blacks and whites. “A man doesn’t care what color a fireman is when his house is burning” was the slogan Griffin used to recruit new members, and it worked. The membership grew as men were joining from the surrounding areas. This proved to be the turning point in the history of the fire company. In a time where most fire companies were resisting state directives to integrate, blacks and whites were working together fighting fires for the Manitou Park Vol. Fire Company. In 1966 the fire company purchased a used Hess tractor and tanker trailer for one dollar and paid twenty five dollars to have it towed from Woodbridge to Manitou Park. Many hours were put in by the members converting it into a fire tanker, and in 1967 it was put into service. A 1956 G.M.C. laundry truck was purchased by the fire company in 1969 and the members painted the truck and installed cabinets converting it into a, salvage, overhaul and rescue unit. As the town was growing, so was the fire company in 1972 a 1000 G.P.M. Imperial Custom Pumper was purchased by the township and with donations by Runyon Doss and Mirair Houvanian and an addition of three bays was added to the firehouse. In 1973 the fire company and the township purchased a 1956 B-model Mack 750 G.P.M. pumper from the Dover Twp. Board of Fire Commissioners. A brush truck was soon needed to help suppress the increasing number of brush fires in the township. The company received a 1954 Reo 2 1/2 ton military truck from the New Jersey State Forest Fire Service which the company converted into a brush truck. This brush truck “1809” has seen many major brush fires with the company since 1972 including the most unforgettable fires of the late seventies – February 29th 1976: a 100 acre brush fire on the south side of Dover Rd. 1809 and her crew were making a impressive stop to the head fire, but and to back down as the intense heat of the wall of flames started to boil the water out of the truck’s radiator – 1977: 1809 and her crew helped suppress the 1200 acre brush fire that burned on both the north and south sides of Dover Rd. Even though the township had purchased two new engines for the fire company, it wasn’t until 1973 that a resolution was adopted naming the Manitou Park Vol. Fire Company, the second fire company in the township. An unusual event occurred in 1973 two small civilian airplanes collided over Route 37 west, one plane crashed near Community Medical Center, Toms River. The second plane came down in a wooded area in Manitou Park, just blocks away from the firehouse. In 1976 the township purchased a 1951 Ford F-7 Great Eastern 500 G.P.M. pumper. The fire company still owns this truck to this date. Also in 1976, Runyon Doss donated land and materials and helped the members build a sub-station in the Silver Ridge and Holiday City section of the township. In 1978 the town purchased a Chevy Step Van to replace the 1956 G.M.C. salvage, overhaul and rescue unit. Soon an additional pumper was needed and in 1981 a fully equipped Hahn 1000 G.P.M. custom pumper was purchased for the fire company by the township. Another unusual event occurred in June of 1982. A tornado ripped through Silver Ridge Park, tearing off roofs homes, overturning automobiles and causing enormous damage to the community. The fire company spent over 36 hours evacuating and securing homes. But also in 1982 on Christmas Eve one of the saddest events in the fire company’s history occurred. Faulty Christmas lights started a fire which destroyed the contents of the fire company’s lounge. Irreplaceable items such as plaques, trophies and fire company memorabilia were all lost. The lounge was soon rebuilt and the company as been refilling its shelves with new trophies and memorabilia ever since. The next piece of apparatus the company received was in 1985, E-One G.M.C. 1000 G.P.M. pumper. One of the larger structural fires in the history of the company occurred in 1986. Around 3:00 in the morning we were dispatched for a reported structural fire at the Kosich Furniture Store and apartments. Chief Joseph Jubert first on scene reported heavy smoke showing. As the apartments were evacuated, an interior attack was attempted. The intense heat and rapidly deteriorating integrity of the structure forced the hose teams out. Soon afterwards part of the roof collapsed allowing the fire to dramatically intensify. An exterior attack was mounted utilizing fire equipment from all neighboring communities and beyond for more than 14 hours. In 1987 the company purchased a Marion Ford Rescue. Two years later the fire company took delivery on two stock 1989 E-One Ford 1250 G.P.M. Pumpers “The Twins”. These trucks have seen many fires in their career and have proven themselves time and time again. In 1992 the township purchased an S&S Peterbilt Tractor and Tanker. The tractor has a 1250 G.P.M. pump mounted to it, and pulling a 6,600 gallons of water. This is one of the few remaining tractor drawn tanker trailers left in the county. 1808 has been to several major wildfires in the county and has been called out of the county multiple times in its history with the company. In 1997 the fire company dedicated the firehouse in Manitou Park to honor Chief Griffin and his wife Mary for their unconditional years of service to the company. Mary Griffin passed away in January of 2000 and Chief Griffin followed a few months later in July of 2000. The “Wrangle Brook Fire” in July 19th, 1997 burned 709 acres and threatened over 300 homes in the retirement community of Holiday City, Berkeley Township, damaging 20 homes. In 2000 the fire company received from Berkeley Township an E-One Cyclone II 1250 G.P.M. Pumper to replace the 1972 Imperial. 1811 has been the company’s first due engine since it was placed in service. In May 2001 we were dispatched for a reported brush fire in the area of Route 9 and the Beachwood border. New Jersey Forest Fire Towers reported a large dark smoke column in that area. Seconds later the fire company was re-dispatched for a working structure fire at Dover Rd and Route 9 “Dover Oil”. Chief Jim Parker was the first to arrive and reported heavy smoke and flames showing. Due the overwhelming intensity of the fire, a defensive attack was method was used to suppress the heavy flames. Numerous area fire companies responded to assist. In February 2003 the area experienced a historic snow storm. Approximately 2 feet of snow fell blanketing the entire area. The company responded to over 170 incidents in three days. One of the most remarkable incidents was a report of a collapsed sun room with possible entrapment. The closest unit was 1807 with a crew of Lieutenant’s Brian Corvinus, Ken Meissner and Firefighter William Jubert. The unit arrived on Costa Mesa Dr in Holiday city to find a home health aide partially trapped under the roof of the sun room. The crew was able to rescue the female and she was transported to the hospital and treated for minor injuries. In January 2004 at the annual installation dinner, Chief Patrick Piccoli awarded life saving awards to these firefighters. In 2005 Berkeley Township purchased a E-One Cyclone II 1250 G.P.M. Rescue Pumper that replaced the 1981 Hahn. 1831 carries Amkus Rescue tools. In 2009 the company celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a parade through Holiday City involing numerous fire companies and first aid squads from the surrounding communities and with a BBQ in Whispering Pines Park. In 2012 after a long 5 year process 1804 Marion Rescue was replaced by a 1833 a UST 1250 G.P.M. Rescue Pumper. 1833 is outfitted with Holmatro Rescue tools and large cascade system.